I hate other people being able to tell me "I told you so". Hate it, hate it, hate it. Yet, here we are, with me forgetting what the optimistic POV even looks like. I tend to write articles right down the middle of the road, even though I never try to hide the fandom. That's the perk of being a blogger instead of a beat writer. I'm pretty sure my bank account can tell you the other major difference, but we digress.
All in all, I tend to believe the outcome will be positive because it just doesn't make much sense investing this much time into something you don't control AND think will turn out negatively.
That's logical, right?
Welp, here we are. Nothing surprises me about this team, but in the span of six days, they've covered the spectrum of ways to lose. The only thing left is a back-and-forth-for-the-entire-game loss; don't worry, Kirk Cousins is waiting. There are so many things to talk about with this defeat, and just like the Cowboys issues, they are from all over the place. So what better way to address them than with one of our infamous 'Random Cowboys Thoughts' posts.
- A few weeks back, in an article about me coming around to the thought process of "safe Romo", I noted how infrequently our QB has had to get away with the "almost interception". Romo has a long history of getting away with "would-be-picks" at what seems a higher rate than other QBs. That Romo returned Sunday.
That's two of the "almost" interceptions that Romo's avoided for the majority of the season...— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) December 15, 2013
- It is downright criminal that we've been subjected to a season of inexperienced, green B.W. Webb as the clubs 3rd/4th corner and that Sterling Moore has been on the street the entire season. I don't know what Moore did to secondary coach Jerome Henderson, but an investigation needs to be ordered. He lost an INT due to defensive penalty last week, but got one on Sunday and had 3 PBUs as well. No one is saying send the dude to Canton, the All Pro dinner or Hawaii for the Pro Bowl. Hell, you don't even have to let him run a DB camp in De Soto, TX... but the man is better than what Webb is currently. And the Cowboys season has suffered because of that mistake.
- K Dan "Split'Em" Bailey is the best pound-for-pound Cowboys player on the roster. It's not close. We say the Cowboys are a 5 win team the last couple years without Romo? If the Cowboys had just an average kicker instead of Bailey, they'd also only be a 5 win team. He's so freaking good that "2 feet left of center" makes me question reality.
- No, Dez walking off the field before the game was over isn't acceptable. Stop spinning.
- Speaking of Dez, people have brought up a very interesting point in the aftermath of the game. What happens if Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith choose not to stay in Dallas when their contract expires? They play premiere positions, the market will pay them without question. I think Dez loves Dallas and appreciates Jerry Jones so much that it's not going to be an issue, but it is a thought. Smith, I'm not so sure about. I built my entire "Nuclear Option" plan around these two guys being the cornerstones of the franchise until the club finds the next franchise QB and edge rusher, but do they want to be?
- They haven't been released yet, but I'll wager that Doug Free gets a "red" grade from ProFootballFocus. He was horrible down the stretch and got away with a false start (the refs finally gave Dallas a call and whistled the defender for encroachment) and the next play he was holding for dear life; also uncalled. If so, it will be Free's 5th "red" grade in the last 8 contests. Despite starting off the season as the reclamation project to be thankful for, Free has never had a stretch of 5 "really bad" games out of 8. Nope, not in 2012 or 2011. The Cowboys are going to have to draft a tackle in 2014.(Surprise, Free earned a +0.8 grade, worst of linemen, but not close to a red grade.)
- I didn't include Demarco Murray in my nuclear option (see below) group of '24' core young guys, but I should have. Murray is doing everything that the club needs him to do. All of our backs could step up in their blitz pick-up, but you can't do better than leading the league in rushing yards per attempt. The problem is second contracts for running backs are overly expensive and you'll almost never get the return; especially a guy that has an injury history. But hey, they signed Sean Lee and let's not pretend Murray is any more of an injury liability than Lee is. Murray leads the league in yards per carry, he led all starting backs in that stat for Week 15. His DYAR (Yards Above Replacement) led all RBs with 48, which means he was doing work regardless of the team across from him. Did I mention the Packers defenders were thanking Dallas for abandoning the run?
- Before yesterday, I had no idea the "horrible scale" could go lower than Ernie Sims. I've been very vocal about how I think Sims doesn't contribute much to the team, taking bad angles as if he's getting paid to do so. But man, did we see the difference between "sucky professional" and "overmatched from the jump" last night. Poor Cam Lawrence, he had no business taking defensive snaps, much less being the Mike linebacker. The Cowboys defense was holding on with Durant and Sims, but when it went to Holloman and Lawrence? That's when the wheels fell off. No touchdowns for a half turned into 5 for 5 touchdowns in a half. Do the math.
- Gavin Escobar's catch radius was not over-exaggerated this past off-season.
- Until the Dez Bryant sick, sick catch in the back of the end zone over the back of a defender, the Cowboys had only converted third downs due to penalty. They completed another to Dez before the first Romo interception. But you can tell me about how 450 yards and 36 points equals a monster offensive day all you want. Not converting third downs means unsuccessful offense.
That's it for now, my brain hurts.